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Everything you need to know about the SAD Document

ScrapAd tells you everything you need to know about the Single Administration Document or C88 form, a fundamental document that you will need if you want to carry out international trade operations of goods. Don’t miss it!

What is the SAD document

The SAD document, also know as a C88 Document in the UK, is an administrative document containing the export and import declaration of companies, which must be presented to customs before starting the commercial transfer and it can be submitted electronically or physically.

This certificate is required by the customs authorities, along with the rest of the administrative formalities for this type of operation outside the European Union. This means you will need to complete a C88 form if you ship from the UK to the EU or vice verse.

The document was created with the aim of grouping together all the administrative paperwork required by companies to be able to carry out their export and/or import activity, with the objective of facilitating its completion and subsequent control.

SAD legislation needed to take full account of today’s environment and adapt with the evolution that occurred since its inception. Regulation 2286/2003 did this by introducing a radical modernization of data collection on EU customs declarations.

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Parts of the Single Administration Document

Although this document is unique, it is made up of parts common to all companies in order to accommodate all the information that needs to be collected in an organised manner. Thus, it is made up of 8 copies (sheets).

Each of the 8 copies has a different function. The most relevant functions are the following:

For export

  • Copy 1: to be completed for the customs office of dispatch.
  • Copy 3: for the exporter or consignor.
  • Copy 4: to justify the Community status of the goods, at the customs office of destination belonging to the European Union, as well as Andorra and San Marino.

For imports

The following must be presented:

  • Copy 6: to be presented for the customs office of import.
  • Copy 8: for the importer.


On the other hand, goods return operations involve the completion of copy 5. Finally, copies 2 and 6 are used to draw up statistical reports on the flow of international trade.

When to present the SAD?

The SAD or C88 form in the UK, must be presented for international shipments to countries outside the European Union, and must always be accompanied by these documents, which we discussed in the article on the requirements for importing into Spain:

  1. Commercial invoice.
  2. Packing list or list of contents.
  3. Certificate of origin.
  4. Transport document.

Peculiarities of the Single Administration Document

The SAD and C88 as an import declaration has certain peculiarities or curiosities:

  1. Although it is considered a single document, it actually consists of the 8 parts explained above and breaks down into 54 boxes, and as we have seen, each part fulfils a different function.
  2. This document may be presented by:
    1. Goods in their own name and for the account of others.
    2. Those who do so by proxy by means of.
    3. Those for whom the goods are consigned.
  3. Extreme care must be taken when completing the SAD, as its presentation implies the declarant’s commitment that the information contained in the SAD is true and corresponds to the goods. Making a mistake when filling it in could lead to the initiation of the relevant penalty proceedings. In some circumstances, rectifications may be made if it is found that there are errors or that the data does not correspond to the export invoice.
  4. In order for rectification to be possible, the goods must still be in the customs area, and provided that the authorities have not approved the release of the goods, nor verified the inaccuracy of the data. The SAD may not be rectified if the Customs Authorities have already informed the declarant of their intention to carry out a physical examination of the goods.

We hope this post about what is the Single Administration Document has clarified some concepts for you. Discover our digital platform for recyclable materials or scrap metal trading, where we take care of the entire logistical process so you don’t have to worry about anything. Get to know us!

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